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tv   Countdown With Keith Olbermann  MSNBC  September 18, 2009 8:00pm-9:00pm EDT

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away from the hyperbole as he said. that's what gets all of the attention. he is still trying to regain control of the overall message if he can increase support for health care, he can drown all that out and try to get the votes. >> a lot of this anti-obama stuff is good old western prairie. >> one of the big stories over the last, really of the last two cycles is the democratic games in places that traditionally lean to the right. the national journal today looking at the mountain west where democrats have made enormous gains in the last three cycles. but chris, all of that against the backdrop of playing off a conservative republican president made it very easy for democrats to play themselves as moderates. the democrats holding those centrist, against the democrat president pursuing a democratic agenda on cap and trade and on spending, and that is much more challenging. if you look at places like the mountain west, what's going on in virginia, some of these other
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states, north carolina where they made ground in 2004, holding it will be the challenge in 2010. >> meet the press across the country, and ron brownstein thanks for that. he's got problems in the west as well as the south. join us again monday for more "hardball." "countdown" with keith olbermann starts right now. which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow? the nation's health care crisis. a new study finds more people die from lack of insurance than drunk driving and murder combined. as we enter a critical weekend of negotiations, senator rockefeller says there is still life in the public option and now's the time to improve the baucus bill. >> i really don't care how long it takes us to do it. i want to get it right. i want it to be a real improvement in health care. >> and the pressure on republican senator olympia snowe as the gop tries to keep her in
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line. snowe says she won't be dictated to by her party. the values on display at the value voters forum. obamacare, rationing your life away, fighting the vast left wing conspiracy. and the new masculinity, which session does mike huckabee belong in? >> we've been the land of czars, clunker cars, and hollywood stars. >> speaking of czars, the dnc strikes back at republican hypocrisy asking if why it's an evil idea, why did the gop support them during the bush years? hateful spin after speaker pelosi expressed concern about violent rhetoric. suddenly fox news decides your words do matter and could indeed incite people to violence. >> she got all choked up over something that could be very very serious. >> when you harken to terrible tragedies involving political assassinations -- >> giving people ideas.
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>> and it's a horrible thing to do. and saturday night live uncovers the plot behind the wilson you lie tirade. >> all at once together. are going to yell "you lie." >> all that and more now on "countdown." good evening from new york, i'm lawrence o'donnell in for keith keith olbermann. 45,000 people die each year because they don't have health insurance. put another way, that's one person every 12 minutes, five people every hour. more people every day than are killed because of drunk driving and murder combined. how many more people will die of the minutes, hours, weeks, and possibly years tick by before this nation achieves universal health care coverage?
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the senate finance committee is going to start debating and amending its bill next week. chairman max baucus is still hoping for support among members of both parties. the chairman of the health subcommittee, jay rockefeller told charlie rose he plans to introduce at least 17 amendments to the baucus bill. senator olympia snowe also a member of the finance committee, the most likely republican to support the measure if not the only one. she told cnbc that she's not going to let her party dictate how she votes. at a forum in washington today, secretary of state hillary clinton closely identified with this issue in the past was asked to weigh in. >> it's interesting that, you know, what we're proposing is fundamentally so conservative compared with so many of our friends and allies around the world who do a much better job than we do in covering everybody and keeping costs down.
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and yet some of the political opposition is so overheated. so we just have to calm down here. take two aspirin, go to bed, think about it in the morning. but i'm very optimistic. >> the current first lady today made the case for what she calls her husband's plan. michelle obama spoke not just as a wife, but also as a daughter and a mother. >> i will never forget the time eight years ago when sasha was four months that she would not stop crying. and she was not a crier. so we knew something was wrong. so we fortunately were able to take her to our pediatrician that next morning. he examined her and said something's wrong. we didn't know what. but he told us that she could have meningitis. so we were terrified. he said get to the emergency room right away. and fortunately for us, things worked out.
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because she is now the sasha that we all know and love today who is causing me great -- excitement. but it is that moment in our lives that flashes through my head every time we engage in this health insurance conversation. it's that moment in my life because i think about what on earth would we have done if we had not had insurance. >> much to talk about tonight with senator bernie sanders, independent of vermont and the member of the pensions committee, which has already passed its own health care reform bill. thank you for your time tonight, senator. >> my pleasure. >> one of the biggest differences between your committee and the senate finance committee's bill is that senate finance committee has the authority to pay for its bill and has made some hard choices about how to do that. basically a mix of corporate
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taxes and medicare cuts. that's how they're paying for it. is that the best way to pay for health care reform? >> well, that's a good question. and that's why we're going to have to take a very, very hard look. when we talk about medicare cuts, we've got to be careful that we are preserving quality care for our senior citizens and that the cuts really are trimming fat and waste and abuse, of which there is a whole lot. but let me reiterate for a moment what hillary clinton just said. as a nation, we should be fundamentally embarrassed that we remain the only country, industrialized country on earth that doesn't guarantee health care to all of our people. we spend almost twice as much, and now we're talking about tens of thousands of people dying every single year because they don't get to the doctor on time. and add to that that this year about 1 million people will go bankrupt, bankrupt because of medically related bills. and you've got republicans out there who are saying, sorry, we don't want to do anything. we prefer politics over dealing with this serious problem.
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and in the midst of all of that, if we don't act, health care costs are going to double in the next eight years. we've got to move and make this the strongest and most progressive bill we can. >> the baucus bill in the finance committee has been greeted by a large round of booze from democrats and republicans. but in president obama's address the other night, he essentially endorsed the baucus bill, especially on the point that the final bill must be paid for and must not add a dime to the deficit. this is the only bill coming out of any committee that does that. so how can the president get behind any other approach? >> no, no, no. of course it has to be paid for. but one of the reasons the many people are booing the baucus approach among other things is that it does not contain a public option. and a public option is important for two points. number one, the american people should have a choice. about whether they want to stay with their private insurance or go to a public plan, a medicare type plan. second of all, in terms of cost
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containment. if you don't have a public option in competition with a private insurance companies, what is going to stop them from raising their rates higher and higher and higher? so lawrence, when you talk about cost containment and the need to have something that is affordable to the american people, that is why you need a public option, unfortunately, while our committee does have that, the baucus plan does not. >> now, jay rockefeller, the member of the finance committee has pledged that he will vote against any bill in committee and on the floor that does not have the public option. will you join him in that pledge? >> well, i'm going to do everything, you know, we don't know what this bill is going to look like. but let me tell you something, in my state and all over this country, people want a public option, we've got the votes to do a public option, and i just told the white house today that is what i am going to fight for. and in addition to that, i happen to believe that long-term the only real solution in terms of providing comprehensive universal cost effective health
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care is a single-payer system. and i'm going to fight in this bill to give states, states the option to go single-payer if that's what the people of that state want. because long-term, i think that's how you can deal with the hundreds of billions of dollars in waste that the private insurance companies are generating through excessive administrative costs and ceo compensation packages. >> senator, i think the evidence is with you on single-payers unique ability to contain costs. but given that's not one of the components of any of the bills and certainly is not something that president obama is backing. in the approach president obama is currently taking where he insists that it not only not add to the deficit but actually as he puts it "bend the cost curves down." given that the senate finance committee is the only bill that does this, do you see it as i do that president obama seems to now be locked on to the max baucus approach? >> no. no, quite the contrary. laur lawrence, i think what you're
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missing here is that is the finance committee's jurisdiction, not the health committee. they were uniquely within the senate obliged to deal with financing. so i think that's the issue there. but ultimately, what you're going to see is a melding of these two bills. i want to make sure that the funding of it is progressive as possible. in other words, i am very concerned within the baucus bill that there's going to be a tax on so-called cadillac health care plans. well, a lot of working people in unions have given up wage increases in order to get good health insurance. i don't think they should be taxed. >> senator bernie sanders of vermont, as always, sir, it's been a pleasure, you're going to have long nights on the senate floor with this bill. >> we are. >> thank you very much for joining us tonight. >> my pleasure. for more on where things stand tonight, let's turn to veteran of the insurance industry, wendell potter, former communications director at cigna health care, now senior at the center for media and democracy. many thanks for your time on
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this friday night, sir. >> thank you. >> economist paul krugman in his column today asked the basic question, how bad does a bill have to be to make it too bad to vote for? now, we've heard already on this program that you are no fan of the baucus bill, you have a lot of anti-baucus bill fans out there. but at the end of the amendment process in the finance committee, which could take a few weeks, it could involve hundreds and hundreds of amendments and hundreds of changes. how bad does that final senate finance committee bill have to be to make it too bad to vote for? >> if he doesn't have a public option, it's too bad to vote for. if it continues to allow insurance companies to shift more and more of the financial burden to consumers, to americans, it's too bad to vote for. if the premiums have the appearance of being affordable. but you are making people pay so much out of their own pockets that it's just the illusion of affordability, then it's not
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worth voting for. >> the bill does seem to have some real affordability problems. i did some back of the envelope calculations of my own. if you're at $66,000 of income with a family of four, which by any definition is a very struggling family, having trouble making ends meet every week that they have to pay $700 a month in a health care premium, $8,400 a year in premiums before you get to deductibles. if they don't do that under the individual mandate in the bill, if they refuse to do that, they then have to pay a penalty tax of $3,800 in a family like that, which, and i hope we haven't lost the audience on the map. basically what it comes down to, there remains for that family at $66,000 a year of income, there remains a $5,000 incentive not to purchase health insurance. >> you're exactly right. the incentives are all wrong and it's the cost-shifting that i don't think many people are paying attention to. it is a gift to the insurance industry in that there will be
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subsidies for people who can't afford the premium that will go to the insurance industry. but the industry is making a lot more money in the same way by making people pay more out of their own pockets. so it's a real wonderful bonanza for the insurance industry. the president wanted to make sure this bill does not make anyone anymore having to file for bankruptcy. and this bill will guarantee that people will be filing for bankruptcy because of the cost you just described. >> now, you've worked in the insurance industry. i haven't, but i can imagine what their lobbying teams are doing right now. meeting in rooms and dividing up into democrat and republican lobbyists. they're going to send one team of the republicans saying, hey, you've got to kill that public option for us. they're going to send another team at the democrats saying, you have to increase those subsidies so people who can't afford our product can buy our product. aren't they going to be lobbying both sides of this thing? >> they really are. and as long as they can try to keep congress focussed on making
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people able to buy their product, i think that may succeed. they have every incentive to get this bill passed the way the baucus bill is written. they want to try to kill the public option as you and senator sanders described. but they also do want to try to make sure that there are adequate subsidies that can make their products appear to be affordable and provide them with a great new revenue stream. so they -- and they know that the president really and congress too, the democrats need to get a bill passed. in many ways, they're in the driver's seat. >> wendell potter, thank you for your insights on how the insurance industry approaches this legislation. >> thank you. >> thanks for being with us tonight. coming up, the gop puts its values on display at the values voter forum. ms. wasilla is a no show, but carrie prejean finds the time to show up. markos joins me to consider all of the ugly thinking going on in
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the presence of the beauty queen. and later the manufactured distraction from the right wing about president obama's advisers. and joe wilson, he now agrees with nancy pelosi that we need to have a more rational debate on health care. and joe wilson finally falls victim to the writers of "saturday night live." you're watching "countdown" on msnbc. introducing blueprint. blueprint is free and only for chase customers. it lets you choose what purchases you want to pay in full to avoid interest...with full pay. and those you split... you decide how to pay over time. if having a plan matters. chase what matters. create your own blueprint at chase.com/blueprint.
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coming up, what you've been waiting for, the values voting, and the new masculinity. markos joins us to discuss the values really taking center stage at that gathering. and later, nancy pelosi calls for a more responsible national discourse. so naturally, fox news responds that she's planting thoughts of assassination in people's minds. ahead on "countdown."
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pepto-bismol. nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea. yeah, my buddy's got all that. do we need to buy a bunch of different medicines? pepto guy: oh, no, pepto alone relieves all five symptoms. plus gas too. dude. we're covered. enjoy the game. easy.
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the first straw poll from 2012, presidential election will be conducted this weekend in washington, d.c. at the conservative values voter summit, which began today. in our fourth story on the "countdown," former governor sarah palin will not attend. former miss california, carrie prejean is attending. and they warmed up their anti-obama sales pitch. one of today's featured speakers in the summit in washington, d.c., former governor and current talk show host mike huckabee. he offered a few examples of present-day conservative obsessions. >> it is at times a country that is almost difficult to recognize. we have become the land of czars, clunker cars, and hollywood stars. but unfortunately, it's also become a place where we've lost
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any transparency and accountability. >> congressman mike pets went after the czars, as well and tossed out classic red meat. >> and the american people will not stand for government-run insurance that uses taxpayer money to fund abortions. -- in this country. washington, d.c. must become a no czar zone starting here and starting now. >> of course, the five health bills in the congress currently written would not fund abortions. another popular speaker today was carrie prejean who spent a great deal of time reliving that fateful night when a pageant judge dared to ask her how she felt about gay marriage. >> i tried to stand there and look pretty, but in my head i could not believe that they were asking that question at miss
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usa. i thought that it was extremely inappropriate for that venue. >> former liberal massachusetts governor mitt romney is scheduled to deliver remarks tomorrow. and on sunday, the results of the infamous straw poll will be released. some of the possible contenders, romney, huckabee, pence, and rick santorum, along with former house speaker, the thrice married and twice divorced newt gingrich, louisiana governor bobby jindal, tim pawlenty, and former alaska governor sarah palin, all still on their first marriages. let's bring in the founder and publisher of the daily post and taking on the system, markos. good evening, markos, great to have you with us. >> thank you, happy friday, lawrence. >> you know the titles of some of these sessions. the titles are pretty catchy. "speechless," "silencing the christians," "fighting the vast
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left wing conspiracy" was another. they also have activism and conservatism. there was one called "the new masculinity" because "feminism has wreaked havoc on families, women, children, and men" that sounds like a complete round-up of the values they'll be exploring this weekend, doesn't it? >> well, they're definitely not going to have any values about intellectual consistency, because they didn't seem to care when george bush had more czars than barack obama. and they sure aren't going to talk about honesty and telling the truth in politics because between claiming that obama wasn't born in the united states and claiming that obama wants to kill your grandmother and claiming that these mythical bills have abortion language in them, clearly they've abandoned that sort of notion of truth and integrity a long time ago. >> now, if what they're looking for is the best rhymer, clearly mike huckabee's going to win
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this straw poll going away, isn't he? who is the king of this group? it seems to me if you were looking at them from the perspective of these very, you know, conservative family values types, huckabee's their guy, isn't he? >> he's always been their guy. the problem with huckabee is that he's not very appellatable to the wall street republicans. the guys that truly call the shots in the republican party and they did a fantastic job of taking him out when he seemed to be the front runner post iowa in 2008. and i think they still make him nervous because they see him as a fiscal liberal. this is a guy who supported college scholarships to children of undocumented immigrants which, of course, you know anything that helps anybody, especially those brown people is something that is completely unacceptable to the republican party these days. >> now, of course, there was a health care panel today. and maybe the first one that they've ever had in the value
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summit. and michelle bauchmann championed the idea of putting fewer restraints, fewer regulations on health insurance companies. she seems like, i don't know, maybe i don't get the values thing there, she seems to me to be straying farther away from the what would jesus do approach to health care, isn't she? >> when i was growing up going to sunday school, i learned that jesus would help the sick, the poor, the needy. he didn't care. he helped them all. but apparently that was liberal propaganda because the conservative jesus asked if he had an insurance card, he turned him down and when lep rasy was considered a preexisting condition, well, those guys are out of luck. >> now the big no show, of course, is former governor sarah palin. what significance should we draw from this? i thought she quit the governorship so she'd have time to attend important events like this. and if we're looking at this for hints of who the next presidential candidate is, doesn't it mean skipping something like this when all of
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the possible candidates for president are going? doesn't that indicate she's probably not actually going to run for president next time? >> well, the thing to note about sarah palin is she extremely lazy. she was elected governor of alaska and decided that was too much work, so she quit that. she was nominated to be the vice president of the republican party, she couldn't be bothered to prepare and study for the job. and she couldn't even be bothered to obviously take care of her own children, supervise her children. she's a lazy person. she figures she has the name recognition, people know who she is and in a couple years from now she can wink at an audience and it'll all fall in love with her again. if she doesn't watch out that carrie prejean could be winking at the audience too and she'll have competition. >> and if carrie learns how to rhyme, huckabee's in trouble. >> absolutely. >> thanks for joining us tonight. >> thank you very much. coming up, what values are shown by smearing nancy pelosi's
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emotional plea to soften the nation's violent discourse? today, fox news blames her for planting the idea of assassination in people's heads. and criticizing obama at any cost. bush czars are good, obama czars are bad. the republican distraction ahead on "countdown."
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what are these? healthy choice knows if they can get people to try just one little bite they'll love it. so they're doing an online coupon promotion. so what is the little box for?
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i tell them "they want you to be their spokesperson, "think bigger. take millions of these little bite boxes "full of food, put them up in a hot air balloon, and drop them on people!" that's so stupid! they should just stick to the online coupon. it's just an idea. that looks like more than just an idea to me. you see the balloon, huh? yeaa...
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half a show still ahead of us tonight on "countdown." remember on tuesday when the gop criticized the effort to officially reprimand congressman wilson because there were more pressing matters of national importance? what do they think is important? phony attacks on president obama's advisers. the dnc calls that silliness dancing with the czars. fox news attacks speaker pelosi over her comments about out of control speech and imagery on the radio and at town halls. fox, of course, blames her for planting assassination thoughts. and the story behind the infamous joe wilson tirade. the writers at saturday night live offer a behind the scenes look at how it all went down. >> carl, don't you have otta wash this whole room! are you kidding? wash it?! let's wash it with febreze! whoa! [ sniffs ] hey mrs. weber. [ sniffs ] it smells nice in here. i like to keep things fresh.
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so they help solve the greenhouse problem, as well. we're making a big commitment to finding out... just how much algae can help to meet... the fuel demands of the world. in the continuous effort to paint the president as a communist, a marxist, socialist, plagiarist, whatever, the right is now championing a fabricated term conveniently channelling
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impure yalist russia. the war on czars. you know, the drug czar, the car czar. of course, republicans don't seem to know there aren't actually any czars in the american government. the term here is used as an invasion of a lazy news media that prefers drug czar to the job's real title, director of national drug policy control. director of national drug control policy. see, that's why they prefer drug czar. a lot easier. in our third story on the countdown, republicans are now leading the charge against the obama administration's appointment of policy advisers, the same kind of policy advisers every administration has had. the right wing's war on imaginary czars, high level policy advisers who do not face senate confirmation has led republican congressman jack kingston of georgia introduce legislation barring any presidential adviser unconfirmed by the senate from joining the federal payroll.
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mr. kingston joined by an anti-czar chorus, among them senator susan collins along with five other gop senators firing off a letter to the president singling out 18 advisory posts that may be undermining the constitutional oversight responsibilities of congress. senator collins, of course, neglecting to identify which specific positions she has issues with. and in a recent op ed senator kay bailey hutchinson claiming an unprecedented number of czar posts in the obama administration, even though she has supported the same advisory positions in the past. the white house hitting back. calling the self-appointed czar in the war on czars glenn beck and other gop lawmakers with a post on its website. although some members have asked serious questions about the makeup of the white house staff, the bulk of the noise you hear began first with partisan
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commentators suggesting that this is somehow a new and sinister development that threatens our democracy. meanwhile the dnc doing some further troop squadding with a new web video "dancing with the czars." showing beck rattling off a list of appointees except the pictures shown next to beck aren't czars from the obama administration, they're actually from the bush administration. yes, the bush administration. joining me now is margaret carlson, columnist for bloomberg news. good evening, margaret. i'm going to need your help shooting some fish in a barrel here. >> right. it's friday night, we need an easy one. >> i mean, is it possible that republican congressmen like kingston, he does not know that his bill would've prevented the likes of dick cheney working in the white house as a chief of staff, which he did of henry
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kissinger, it would prevent everyone who's currently working in the white house who advises the president on anything other than his tie selection, wouldn't it? >> well, jack kingston is taking his facts from glenn beck. who has replaced rush limbaugh as the leader of the republican party. you know, many of these people are confirmed by the senate, and then they get the name picked up as czars. many of us have imaginary friends. glenn beck and these republicans have imaginary czars. they're nothing more than people who are in jobs that as you said in the intro when you stumbled over one of the names, it's much easier to call them a czar than to come out with these long names. >> the term czar, it is, let's just get it straight here, it's a journalistic coinage, has no real meaning. is the right suffering from a kind of confusion here that just a half decent high school education could've cured? >> well, you know, they're looking for every little thing to mount, you know, three hours
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on talk radio every day. and the czars came up because as you point out, the russian thing plays into the socialist charge. and imagine if the president didn't have a drug czar. then they would be saying, oh, he didn't name a drug czar. or, by the way, there was a bush faith-based czar. these are -- there's nothing new. there was a czar in the roosevelt administration. he was called a rubber czar. there really was one. and he was in charge of getting enough rubber for the war efforts. and he fired everybody and he got new people and, by the way, he got enough rubber and then he went back to his other job. that was what a czar was then, which was a temporary thing. these people are mostly here in jobs that are confirmed. i know at least ten of the ones that glenn beck was talking about, not the ones left over that he's talking about from the bush administration are just your normal every day appointed senate confirmed person.
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>> now, you know, i've never worked in the white house taking these incoming shots, but this thing feels like a joke to me. am i underestimating it? should the white house be taking it more seriously than it's taking it? >> until you showed me the bite from president obama, i'm shocked that the white house responded. because it does seem like a totally silly charge that no one would take seriously and there he's talking -- you know, it is noise, but why would you dignify the noise? it seems to me that it's something that would pass by very quickly. >> by the way -- >> maybe these days you can't count on anything passing by. >> by the way, margaret, that war that the rubber czar was helping us out with, we won that war, didn't we? there's a good record for some of these czars, isn't there? >> not particularly the drug czar so far. maybe the faith-based czar might be doing it. >> we'll see, margaret carlson of bloomberg news, thanks for joining us tonight.
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>> thanks, lawrence. coming up, nancy pelosi's emotional plea yesterday to be more responsible in our political discourse. today fox news answers that call by saying pelosi has planted thoughts of assassination in people's minds. and later, saturday night live puts its unique spin on the joe wilson yell. we've all seen the yell and the debate is sparked, now find out what made it happen. and coming up on rachel at the top of the hour, joe wilson snatches the "oddball" torch from governor sanford. what are those guys smoking in south carolina? ng else on the road right now," proclaims "gq" magazine. did you see that? the interior "positively oozes class," raves "car magazine." "slick and sensuous," boasts "the washington times." "the most striking vw in recent memory," declares-- okay, i get it already. i think we were in a car commercial. ♪ yeah
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♪ yeah.
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coming up, taming the out of control national discourse. guess who agrees with nancy pelosi that we could be more civil. joe wilson. yeah, that joe wilson. and later, saturday night live unleashes its writers on the distinguished gentleman from south carolina next on "countdown."
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we have all this energy here in the u.s. we have wind. we have solar, obviously. we have lots of oil. i think natural gas is part of the energy mix of the future. i think we have the can-do. we have the capability. we have the technology. the solutions are here. we just need to find them here. or 100 pringles. both cost the same, but only the pringles superstack can makes everything pop! ♪ hey [ male announcer ] same cost but a lot more fun. ♪ everything pops with the pringles superstack can!
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in an all timer do as i say not as i do file, congressman joe wilson is asking for a dialing down of the rhetoric in the debate over health care reform. in our number two story, nancy pelosi made a similar request yesterday, except the house speaker's belief that crazy talk could lead to violence has led to more crazy talk from where else? fox news and rush limbaugh. beginning with mr. wilson who has barely stopped talking since
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his "you lie" interruption of the president last week. today he tells capitol hill newspaper roll call, "i do believe people should be tep rate in their remarks and noncondemning." in the town hall crowds, "these are dear people at town halls and tea parties, they're loving people." and he tries to explain away the hateful imagery on the signs that some of the anti-reform crowd. people should know that people with the hitler signs were democrats. they're with the la rush campaign, who has had nothing to do with the democratic party and, in fact, despises it. at a press conference yesterday the house speaker called for a stop to the inflammatory rhetoric r rhetoric surrounding the health care debate. -- who were assassinated in
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1978. fox news says it is pelosi's remarks, not the angry rhetoric she is condemning that is sewing the seeds of assassination. >> when you raise it in this fashion. when you harken to terrible tragedies involving political assassinations -- >> giving people ideas. >> -- and it's a horrible thing to do. >> and if that logic isn't tortured enough, enter rush limbaugh. >> they're setting the table now so they can point fingers of blame. if she's out there, she's playing a strategic game here. i wouldn't put it past pelosi to want to be trying to create some violence with this. >> setting the table, indeed. joining me now to sift through the debris of the right wing thinking on this one is msnbc analyst and cqpolitics.com's craig. >> i did my extra duty sifter.
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>> you had to do a lot of homework on this one. i know you don't think this way yourself. i'm trying to follow what the fox and friends crew is up to here. they're saying that the crazy off the wall rhetoric at the anti-health reform rallies and all of that, some of it verging on the violence is -- that won't cause anyone to tend toward violence. but nancy pelosi preaching against violence, that will definitely provoke violence. that's the fox and friends notion of how this works? >> and where was the outrage about some of those who talked fairly violently on their side of the fence? how about the guy who brought the gun to an event? where was the outrage about that from this side. absolutely. there's no way the fox folks think their crowd is going to follow pelosi over anything. i think disingenuous is the word for that. glenn beck seems to maybe have feelings not that dissimilar
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from nancy pelosi because earlier this summer he pleaded with his followers to be vigilant and be angry but specifically pleaded with his followers not to be violent. he didn't want another timothy mcveigh scenario. he seems to know something about his audience, doesn't he if he's wanting them not to be violent? >> if i could be extra cynical, what if the thinking here is if something does happen down the road they've created cover. that it's pelosi's fault. and if something did happen, that is at least a consequence of what they're doing if not the purpose. >> craig, there aren't a lot of us in this country who have any idea of who lyndon larouche is. i find it indescribable and challenging to try to explain it to anyone. but would you call him a good and faithful democrat? >> not at all considering that not too long ago he told a crowd
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of supporters that under obama, their sisters would be carted off to ovens. i don't think that is a supporter of at least the president, certainly not the democratic party. i haven't understood larouche until his people threw wine on my suit. and in those days i got the budget to get dry cleaning. but here's how i explain larouche, lawrence. his movement, nativist revolutionaries. revolutionaries in the sense that they really want to be the second coming of the founding fathers and they have to have something to revolt against. they want to run out that experience, the revolutionaries had against the british occupiers. nativists in the sense it's ethnic and even racial chauvinism. in the sense that white europeans don't run the country anymore. this is why we hear all of this we want our country back. people, there are people who just can't accept that that's what's happening.
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>> so in his -- and joe wilson's mounting of his defense, you know, blames some of these things on lyndon larouche who he says is a democrat, which is untrue. he continues to bumble along here. is he -- keeping him in the congress, is that an asset for the democrats to keep a clown like that around to represent the republican party? >> it might even be an asset for republicans, some republicans because it's the people like him and michelle bauchmann and others and sarah palin who are going to keep the faithful energized, but i think it's going to keep the republican party a minority party just a very loud one. and if anything standing on a postage stamp of whatever their principles are. and in the end, yes, i think it's better for democrats even though i think some republicans see this as an advantage. >> craig crawford of cq politics and msnbc, thanks for your time tonight. >> good to be here. the joe wilson yell. it's been heard around the world. it's been reprimanded by the
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house, but finally it's been explained to us. by the cast of "saturday night live." next on "countdown." 's health insurance companies. raise health insurance premiums 4 times faster than wages. pay your ceo twenty four million dollars a year. deny payment for 1 out of every 5 treatments doctors prescribe. if the insurance companies win, you lose. tell congress to rewrite the story. we want good health care we can afford with the choice of a public health insurance option. you look beautiful tonight. allow me. it's tough to reach that five servings a day if you don't always like the taste of vegetables. i'll be right back. ok. good thing v8 v-fusion juice gives you a serving of vegetables hidden by a serving of fruit. v8. what's your number?
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did congressman joe wilson act alone? or was he part of a larger plot gone awry? new insights into what really went down minutes before president obama addressed a joint session of congress last week. the shocking new information comes not from the hundreds of inside the beltway group think tank journalists working the case, but rather the writers of sard night live. last night was the season premiere of the season's weekend update thursday special. and while there was no tina fey as sarah palin, we did get the incomparable kristin wig as the michelle bauchmann. snl pulls back the curtain on
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how joe wilson and his republican colleagues strategized their response to the president's address to the congress. >> okay. all right, now, are we all here? okay. because obama's address starts in five minutes. we all here? >> are we really doing this? >> yes, we are. now, you see the president has been glossing over the facts of his health care plan all summer. and this live address is our chance to make our descent heard. now we have the text of the address right here. okay. now, you look here. let's see, right somewhere in the middle. here it is. he is going to say this. the reforms i'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally. okay? now when he says that, all of us all at once together are going to yell "you lie." got that? we're all in agreement. that's going to be fun. that'll send a message. senator roberts, a question?
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>> i'm worried this might come off as a major breach of congressional decorum. >> normally i would agree. if only one guy yelled "you lie." i imagine they would call him out on it. but all of us? you know, remember school. if we all do it, we can't get in trouble? it's been a long time for some of us, right? yes, representative bauchmann? >> how about we yell you lie you freedom-hating secret half muslim? >> you know, i think just you lie. that'll send the message, yeah. let's practice, someone has to be obama. who here can do an obama? >> i can. >> really? . okay. that's great. here you are right there. there you go. read right there. >> it would not apply to those who are here illegally.
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>> one, two, three -- >> you lie! good yelling, real good yelling. that'll do it. >> excuse me? >> yeah, congressman, joe wilson? >> if there's nothing else, i'm going to duck into the bathroom for a moment. >> okay. see you on the floor. okay, gang, show time. >> hold on, hold on. i'm starting to have second thoughts about this. >> you know what? you may be right. let's not do it. we can come off very badly. okay. so we're all in agreement, we're not doing it. nobody's doing it. everybody hear that? nobody. good, we're going to be quiet? good little listeners? good, let's get out there. >> you lie!
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>> you guys, mcconnell, cantor, what the heck? we were all going to do it? and you didn't do it. >> i know, i'm sorry about that, joe. we forgot you went to the bathroom. >> you guys! that didn't feel good out there. be honest with me, do you think a lot of people heard me yelling? i mean a lot of it was drowned out, right because people were booing obama. >> i think they might have been booing you, joe. >> oh, god, this is going to come off real bad. real bad. >> now, now, not necessarily, joe. let's think about this. where are you from? >> south carolina. >> oh, yikes. >> hey, hey, hey now. calm down, that is not the worst answer. okay. mississippi would have been the worssw

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